March issue 2009
Arif Mahmood has stunned photography fans once again. The exhibition titled The Stretched Canvas at Photospace gallery, opened on February 16 and continues till March 9, displayed an engaging marriage of two mediums of art: photography and painting. The veteran photographer’s signature black and white photographs were, this time, dipped in the colours given by the brilliant artist Shaukat Mahmood — son of the well-known photographer S. Mahmood, who owned a studio on Zaibunnissa Street.
The images depicted Karachi in a motley of moods. Both the black and white and the painted versions of each picture were showcased side by side and it was difficult to decide which appeared more captivating. Each picture was highlighted by Shaukat Mahmood’s brushstrokes in stunning detail, infusing the framed scene with life-like animation. Especially of note were the shots of a Hindu woman praying at an altar and a congregation at a mazaar. The tribute conferred to the dying art of hand-painted photographs by an aged artist — fighting cancer himself — highlighted the country’s wealth of diverse artists. This not-to-be-missed show attracted many art connoisseurs, including visiting photographers from abroad.